Microsoft’s announcement of their AI-powered health chatbot tool, more AI-related news has been shared by the technology giant - this time a new program to tackle
climate change has been introduced. The
$50 million new project, which is a part of the company’s expansion of environmental policies, is named the “AI for Earth” program.
In the next five years, Microsoft plans to invest heavily in the AI for Earth program, which will provide new AI-based applications to assist various stakeholders in their journey to reduce the rate of climate change, and to protect the overall wellbeing of the environment.
Initially, Microsoft plans to expand the AI for Earth program by increasing global awards of seed grants to researches for developing and evaluating new AI applications. This will allow Microsoft to easily pin-point the designs which are promising, and then scale-up the investments for selected applications to transform them into valuable tools to benefit sustainable initiatives.
According to Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer,
Brad Smith, the AI for Earth program will develop beneficial tools and services for monitoring, modelling, and managing the natural systems of Mother Earth. He added that the science pointing towards the urgency of the planet’s climate predicament is obvious. He also stated that part of the environmental issues today are a result of the Industrial Revolutions in the past. Therefore, today’s technology needs to not only work towards creating a more environmentally-friendly future, but also help to clean up the mess created by the past.
The AI for Earth project revolves around the idea of
democratising AI, allowing stakeholders to apply the technology for analysing data regarding climate change, and also generating ideas regarding the strategic actions required to improve sustainability in the long run.
The AI-powered applications will provide scientists and agricultural business owners the necessary tools for analysing energy consumption data, weather patterns, and also assist with energy conservation and water-saving. This helps businesses and individuals to be more in control of their footprint on the environment. The AI applications will also simplify the managing of the huge amount of climate data that has been accumulated over time, which is only expected to increase over time.
Microsoft recognises the importance of providing stakeholders of all levels with sufficient information on their individual environmental footprints, so they will be more prepared to reflect on their actions and improve them for the better. This is a very important part of tackling climate change, as experts have indicated that a change in human behaviour needs to be achieved in order to protect the Earth from further damage.
Following the introduction of multiple AI-powered projects in the pipeline, Microsoft has proven its dedication towards caring for the planet we share, taking the concrete steps of developing new technology to support a sustainable future.
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